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Ed Johnson
Ed Johnson, Tax Preparer
Category: Tax
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Experience:  GPHR Cert; U.S. Treasury Tax Advocacy Panel appointee
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I am married with one child, what should my husband ...

Resolved Question:

I am married with one child, what should my husband and I each enter on our W4s in order to get a good amount of money back at the end of the fiscal year? M1? M2?
Submitted: 11 years ago.
Category: Tax
Expert:  Ed Johnson replied 11 years ago.

Dear nyc,

Based on the information you have provided, and using the formula that is contained in the form W-4, your exemptions would be:

Married and from:

  • Line A= enter one for your self =1 exemption

  • Line B= Enter 0 (your both apparently work and the second job does not earn less than 1,000.

  • Line C= Enter 0 if both you and your spouse work= 0

  • Line D= Number of Dependents (not you or spouse) =1 (total so is two exemptions, line A and line D)

  • Line E=you will enter zero

  • Line F= enter 1 if you will have 1500 in child care expenses, I assume so: =1 (3 total exemptions so far)

  • Line G= If your income is less than 82,000 enter 2 for each eligible child for child tax credit, in your case 2 maybe.

The way I see it

1. You will be claiming at least married 2.

2. If you will have child care expenses of 1500 dollars, then claim a total of 3.

4. If your married income is less than 82,000 dollars, then take a total of 5 exemptions.

If you itemize, you may be able to take advantage of more exemptions.

Try this 2006 withholding calculator created by the IRS:,,id=14806,00.html

Customer: replied 11 years ago.
Reply to Ed Johnson's Post: I guess my question should have been: What should our deductions be from our checks? I make more money if that makes any difference.
Expert:  Ed Johnson replied 11 years ago.

Dear nyc,

This is two completely different questions.

1. How you should enter your exemptions on the W-4. Now you wish to know:

2. What should your deductions be from your checks?

I can not tell you what your checks will look like. In order to do that, I would need to know:

1. How many exemptions are you claiming on your W-4

2. What your filing status will be

3. Your income

4. Your husbands income

5. Your rate of pay (bi-weekly, etc)

6. Any contributions to salary reduction plans such as 401-K's.

7. Any bonuses you may be paid, awards, etc.

8. and Your state so that I can look up any state and municipal tax rates.

I think it would be better, if you can give me your state, and I can direct you to a calculator for estimating your paycheck.

Customer: replied 11 years ago.
Reply to Ed Johnson's Post: My sincerest apologies for not knowing the correct terminology. I am NOT asking how much $ will be witheld, I can look at my check and see that.


I failed to phrase it correctly, I want to know the most beneficial FILING STATUS.
Expert:  Ed Johnson replied 11 years ago.

Dear nyc,


If you are filing your taxes, The most advantageous filing status is generally married filing joint returns.

If you are filing your W-4 to take advantage of getting the most take home pay each week, I recommend that you file a W-4 claiming 3 or 4 exemptions.

This tax estimator website will give you the opportunity in about 15 minutes time, to try two or three scenarious to discover what is the best way for you to file your taxes.

You can even use it to find out how to make changes to your payroll to reduce your tax liability. For example, maximizing your 401(k) contributions.

Ed Johnson and other Tax Specialists are ready to help you